Some Indicators for the Assessment of Soil Health: A Mini Review

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Soil health, biological, chemical and physical parameters


Soil health depends on a delicate balance of biological, chemical and physical parameters, each of which affects the overall vitality and productivity of the soil ecosystem. Biological parameters include organism populations, microbial diversity and enzyme activity. Organic matter content fuels microbial activity improves nutrient cycling and soil structure. Chemical parameters such as pH, nutrient levels and salinity determine nutrient availability and microbial function. Optimum pH levels sustain microbial diversity and enzymatic activity, which is crucial for nutrient cycling. Physical parameters such as soil texture, structure and porosity govern water infiltration, root penetration and air exchange. Adequate porosity ensures oxygen availability for root respiration and microbial activity, while soil structure determines water retention and drainage. These parameters are interconnected and changes in one aspect can propagate throughout the entire soil ecosystem. For example, increased organic matter increases microbial biomass and enzymatic activity, improving nutrient cycling and soil structure. Conversely, chemical imbalances or physical compaction can inhibit microbial function and degrade soil structure. Therefore, holistic soil management strategies should aim to synergistically optimise biological, chemical and physical parameters. Sustainable practices such as crop rotation, cover cropping and reduced tillage increase organic matter content, regulate pH levels and maintain soil structure. Monitoring and managing these parameters holistically promotes soil health, resilience to environmental stressors and long-term agricultural productivity while maintaining ecosystem integrity.



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How to Cite

SAKİN, E., YANARDAĞ, H. İbrahim, FIRAT, Z., ÇELİK, A., BEYYAVAŞ, V., & CUN, S. (2024). Some Indicators for the Assessment of Soil Health: A Mini Review. MAS Journal of Applied Sciences, 9(2), 297–310.